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US decision a matter of concern: PM

By Onkar Singh in New Delhi
March 19, 2005 19:08 IST
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Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh expressed concern over denial of visa to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi by the United States.

Speaking in the Rajya Sabha, Dr Singh said he asked the External Affairs Minister Natwar Singh to summon the US ambassador and lodge a protest.

He also appealed to the US to reconsider its decision.

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"I share the concern expressed in this matter on all sides of the House. When I came to know of the denial of visa to Shri Modi yesterday (Friday), I immediately instructed our external affairs minister to call the US ambassador and explain we are greatly concerned and we greatly regret the decision," Dr Singh said. The US decision lacks senitivity and courtesy, he added.

"The American government has been informed that while we respect their sovereign right to grant and refuse visa to any person, we do not believe it is appropriate to use allegations or anything less than due legal process to make a subjective judgement," the prime minister said.

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He made it clear that his government was not treating the issue in a partisan manner but as a matter of concern over a point of principle.

"I think the government's prompt and firm response shows our stand in this matter," Dr Singh added.

Also read:

It's a matter of swabhimaan: Modi

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Onkar Singh in New Delhi